Almond and Olive Trees - HELP!

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teralin
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Almond and Olive Trees - HELP!

Postby teralin » Mon Mar 13, 2006 9:55 am

Hi everyone, I am looking for some advice about how to maintain almond trees. I have owned some land near Velez Malaga for about three years and I have sadly neglected the almond and olive trees that are growing there. When I visited earlier this year, I noticed that my trees weren't blossoming nearly as much as those on neighbouring properties.

Can anyone with experience of looking after almonds or olives give me the benefit of their advice so that I can try to bring back to good health again. I will be moving into my new houe on the land at the end of this month and will therefore be able to give them the attention they deserve.

Also if anyone has any ideas on when to pick almonds/olives and what to do with them, I would be very interested to hear from them.

Thanks

olive
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Postby olive » Mon Mar 13, 2006 11:55 am

How many of each type of tree have you got approx ?

Also how old are the olive trees or if you don't know then size of trunk(s) and height and spread?

olive

teralin
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Postby teralin » Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:04 pm

Olive

I have about seven olive trees left (most were destroyed when the house was built) and about 20 almond trees. They are all mature trees as they have been tended for many years by the Spanish family who previously owned the land. I am not in Spain at the moment so I can't give you measurements.

Any ideas?

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silver
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Postby silver » Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:04 pm

when to pick almonds/olives and what to do with them
Almonds from August, gather and sell, roast, fry, make sauce, ajo blanco, cakes ect
..olives winter months..sell, swap for oil, make your own olives.
Your trees could do with a good prune ..after harvesting.
No muerdes la mano que te da de comer.

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hillybilly
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Postby hillybilly » Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:07 pm

The hefty RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening book has info on care etc of both almonds and olives believe it or not, even though it's aimed at UK gardeners!

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Postby Grouser » Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:32 pm

Almond trees should be pruned in summer, when they are in full growth to lessen the possibility of die back or silverleaf disease. Olives can be pruned in winter. In both cases the idea is to let plenty of light into the tree, so you should aim for a shape something like an open hand with all the fingers stretching out and upwards. Remove branches that cross each other. If the trees have been neglected fro a while do not try to do everything in one season.
Grouser

ospsalison
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Postby ospsalison » Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:11 pm

My rather unloved almond trees have a kind of yellow mould on them - is this serious?

Is there anyone in the Loja region prepared to do me some tree maintenance for payment in olives/nuts? - I have about 70 olives and probably about 100 almond trees.

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Faire d'Income
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Postby Faire d'Income » Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:11 pm

Grouser's advice is sound, although I'd maintain that it doesn't matter when or how hard you prune them as they are very hardy trees but they don't like neglect.

Make sure that the branches don't overlap and that you are pruning the old branches to encourage new growth - the Spanish have a saying about a bird flying through the middle but as I don't have the book to hand, don't quote me. You also need to remove all of the almonds because if left on the tree, this can cause problems like leaf rust and eventually they'll die off. Also, give them a treatment of lime. I haven't tried this but apparently it's something they need.

I'm not that sure about Olives but mine seem to be fairly hardy, so I don't think you can do them too much damage by pruning them to shape.

Nikvin
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Postby Nikvin » Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:48 pm

I dont know anything about almond trees, as we dont have any, but we do have some olives. We have sadly neglected these so far, and not pruned, or collected the olives, until this year.
Cut all the suckers off that spring up all round, to encourage the fruiting.
The Spanish will leave 1 or 2 suckers to grow, and eventually cut out the old tree from the middle , for firewood. This is not what I intend to do, as I like the big old trees, far more attractive, though of course, we wont therefore get maximum firewood or olives.

You'll have missed the picking season for this year, as most pressing plants are shut or just about to shut. Collect all the olives, ( hard work)
and you can even include the previous season's ones from the ground, as they still have the oil. they look dried out, but its the water that has gone. Pick when black, for oil. Dont leave them hanging around too long in bags and boxes once picked as they lose quality.
The average return is about 20% ie 10kg = 2 litres.

Ours have no water except rain and snow, and are doing ok, though a bit of fertilizer and extra water wouldnt go amiss.

They are very hardy, and when you see the beating they take when picking season starts, you'd never think they'd survive at all!!, but they do!!

Olives are in fact bushes anyway and not trees, which is possibly why they survive so well

pentaqua-new
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Almond and Olive Trees - HELP!

Postby pentaqua-new » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:12 am

Deviation ...

What is the "return" from olives? Our 'man' carries on looking after our 60 or so, and since we're not there yet (gawd I hope the property mkt picks up here in the UK) we're happy for him to carry on until we live there permanently. I guess that we should be asking for something - but what, how much etc etc?????

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silver
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Postby silver » Tue Mar 14, 2006 12:35 pm

One thing to watch with almonds..is the flower...as pink flowers give bitter almonds.
No muerdes la mano que te da de comer.

olive
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Postby olive » Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:29 pm

I've just come back from our co operative which is still very much open for olives as well as asparagus. Picking season depends on varietyof olives and location.

Our co operative actively discourage taking in olives collected off the ground and yet I have seen some of our neighbours do it - maybe they go to a different co op . Others just clear them up and throw on the bonfire.

Up to four days from picking to taking to the co op as Nikvin says.

Pentaqua New - Yours is a very good question. Olives can be very time consuming and hard work. The harvest yield is cyclical depending on things like when last pruned, fertiliser, weed control and rainfall. There is a misconception that the farmers make loads of easy money! Your 60 trees could take around 15 to 20 days to harvest

If you were here then you might receive 100 to 150 litros of good oil as payment (5 litros is about 22euros). You might think about keeping the arrangement going till you are here then wean them off it by helping out and learning the ropes before going it alone. The help and advice is something you would be hard pressed to put a value on.

One further point is that the olives may qualify for EU grants(subvenciones) depending on age and a whole host of factors. The last owner of the trees gets this until you get registered even if you own the house on the land and the land. Cut off this year was the end of Jan. The grants are a whole new subject!

olive

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Faire d'Income
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Postby Faire d'Income » Tue Mar 14, 2006 7:29 pm

silver wrote:One thing to watch with almonds..is the flower...as pink flowers give bitter almonds.
That's interesting as we have both types. Is there a reason why the pink ones flower sooner than the white ones?

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silver
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Postby silver » Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:21 am

Is there a reason why the pink ones flower sooner than the white ones?
The pink flowers are from the wild tree (trees are hardier and maybe that's why they flower first..but I'm only guessing)...make a note of them and don't mix the almonds with the white blossom tree almonds..as the bitter almonds are only used for marzipan...I think...the white have been grafted on to a wild tree...most almond groves maintain some wild ones for later grafting.
No muerdes la mano que te da de comer.

Nikvin
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Postby Nikvin » Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:06 am

they are different varieties, and grown for different resaons, and have different values, when the fruit is sold.
Most rounfd these parts are pink, and you can graft either way, so its not uncommon to see trees with both sorts!!


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